Is Your Quilt Ready for Long Arm Quilting?

Here are a few considerations regarding your quilt top, backing and batting for preparation for optimal long arm quilting results. An additional fee may be charged for each of the following services required to prepare your quilt top.

Quilt Top:

Loose threads

  • Trim all loose threads on the back of your quilt top as they may show through light colored fabrics
  • Trim loose threads on the top as they will interfere with machine quilting


  • Please make sure all seams are secure (particularly those along the edge of your quilt top)
  • Seam allowances should be pressed appropriately
  • Check that twisted or dark seams are trimmed so they won’t show through to the front
  • Seams need to be pressed correctly for best stitch-in-the-ditch results


  • Please apply your borders properly. This is a vital step in your quilt making process – if the borders are longer than the top and applied without proper and accurate measuring, the top will not lay flat. Pleats and puckers will develop during the machine quilting process.
  • To apply borders properly:
    • Measure your pieced top center (before the borders are added).
    • Lay your top out on a flat surface and measure at least three different places across the width and length.
    • If these measurements are not the same, take the average measurement and use this for cutting the borders.
    • Apply each border to the quilt top evenly – divide the quilt top and border into quarters (or eighths) and ease or slightly stretch between marks, to make the border to fit.
    • Fullness and or puckers within a border cannot be quilted out. I will try my best to work in some fullness, but I cannot guarantee that puckers and tucks will not be sewn in. Just remember, the flatter your quilt top lays, the better your finished quilt will look.


  • Please indicate the top of your quilt top with safety pin
  • no embellishments please, as they interfere with machine quilting
  • Please do not layer top, batting and backing (no basting required)


Fabric considerations:

  • Ideally a one-piece backing will allow for best results (use a “wide back” to eliminate piecing)
  • Please do not use a bed sheet as the weave is too tight and not the same quality as your top
  • Printed fabrics make thread color changes less obvious
  • Backing fabric color should match the quilt top as closely as possible, allowing for top and bobbin thread to match


  • If you do choose to piece your backing, use a 1/2” seam pressed open
  • I will seam your backing for a fee if you wish
  • Please trim any selvages as they are often too tight and keep the backing from lying flat


  • Your backing should be well pressed (transport neatly folded and hung on a hanger to avoid wrinkles)
  • Straighten (square) the edges of your backing (fold fabric to fit on cutting board and trim raw edges even); this ensures the quilt loads onto the machine straight, which is important for keeping the design square on your top
  • The backing must be at least 6” larger than top on all four sides – this is a must for loading onto the machine frame leaders
  • DO NOT baste your quilt


Batting type:

  • I carry Hobbs Premium 80/20 batting which is the best 80% cotton/20% polyester batting on the market. The combination of long staple cotton fibers and polyester creates a strong, long wearing 100% machine washable batting. It will shrink up to 5% giving the desired look of antique puckering or soft dimension once quilted.
  • You may purchase Hobbs 80/20 batting from me (current market pricing) or provide your own preferred batting. Be aware that some battings must be quilted closer together and the texture of some batting may be lumpy and therefore will not quilt well. Purchase good quality batting from your local quilt shop for best results.


  • Batting must be 2” – 3” greater on all four sides of the quilt top.


  • If you wish, I will trim your quilted quilt to the raw edge of your quilt top, allowing you to easily attach a binding (nominal fee)
  • Alternatively, I will attach a binding for a fee (machine stitched to front and hand sewing to back, or machine stitched to both front and back)

Bird of Wisdom

Check out Quilter’s Connection Canadian Magazine (Winter 2014/15) for Kim’s newest project, Bird of Wisdom.

Madame Adrienne Clarkson

Madame Adrienne Clarkson & Kim Caskey

Madame Adrienne Clarkson & Kim Caskey

Madame Adrienne Clarkson, the first Canadian Colenal-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), was in Edmonton recently to preside over the festivities and events of the Canadian Military Family Support Services program. In conjunction with Quilts of Valour Canada, under the direction of Lezley Zwaal (founder QofVC), I was absolutely honoured to have my quilt chosen to be gifted to Madame Adrienne Clarkson, May 24, 2014.

A Passage of 8, detail

A Passage of 8, detail

A Passage of 8, by Kim Caskey

A Passage of 8, by Kim Caskey

The Quilt Show

Kim’s “A Family Rhapsody” quilt was shown on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson.

This was a special two part episode entirely focused on the “how to” of Ricky’s Rhapsody quilts. The first part aired January 31, 2011 and Kim’s quilt image was shown in a photo montage set to music during the second episode which aired February 14, 2011.